2Unlimited take home double, 2013 MELGES 32 Australian Championship and Gold
Sydney Harbour was picturesque, clear and sunny with a light shifting five to ten knot wind
from the South, South East in stark contrast to the conditions faced by the Melges 32 fleet yesterday. Middle Harbour Yacht
Club made the best of conditions on offer and finished the series, nine races in total.
Day three began with newcomer
to the class Chris Way Easy Tiger III and Greg Prescott 2 Unlimited on equal points, Gus Reid Maxstar applying pressure one
point behind. Prescott’s 2 Unlimited almost served up the regatta crossing the line fourth in race six leaving Easy
Tiger III ready to pounce on the Championship Title. Race seven finished and 2 Unlimited claimed the gun only one second ahead
of Maxstar as Prescott began to mount a comeback. Prescott was able to narrowly repeat the victory in race eight. Prescott’s
crew could smell success as they sailed a shortened course for the final race, tactician Chris Nicholson picking the shifts
to claim the overall lead and the title of 2013 Melges 32 Australian Champions.
The Tasmanian team 2 Unlimited
representing the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania included Chris Nicholson, Darren Jones, James Corrie, Julian Salter, Russel
Ely, Oliver Nicholas and Mark Jeffery. Although the final scoresheet shows six wins from nine starts, it doesn't reflect the
battles fought on the racecourse as the crew kept their composure in difficult conditions to secure the win.
32 Australian Championships event sponsors Magic Marine were appropriate after the intense rain, wind and waves yesterday,
their racing apparel allowing crews to look professional and concentrate on what matters to win races. Prizes provided by
Quantum sails will be valued after several sail mishaps in almost thirty knots of wind.
Celebrations moved to
Middle Harbour Yacht Club Sandbar. The presentation was made including trophies and prizes provided by Magic Marine and Quantum
Sails. Podium places went to Gus Reid Maxstar in third, Chris Way Easy Tiger III Second and Greg Prescott 2 Unlimited First.
The National Championships was the final event in the Melges 32 Asia Pacific Cup Series, a series of five events
held throughout the racing calendar. Celebrations for 2 Unlimited continued into the evening after Heath Walters from Melges
Asia Pacific presented the team with the coveted Asia Pacific Cup. Greg was proud of the predominantly Tasmanian crew’s
achievement and is looking forward to taking the cup back to Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania for pride of place.
Jones, A busy year ahead
Darren ’Twirler’ Jones is in high demand on the international sailing scene, having signed up to compete in no
less than 12 high-profile regattas in the next seven months - with three World Championships thrown into the mix.
Twirler has just landed on home turf after a podium finish in the Melges 32 class at the Rolex International Regatta at
St Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands. A far cry from swanning around the Caribbean, it was strictly business for Jones, who
competes and coaches at a professional level and is expected to perform at every event he participates in. And he brings the
results, which is why so many international yachting teams are vying for his time.
Currently committed to
the Swedish Melges 32 team ‘Inga From Sweden’, Jones will be their mainsail trimmer for three regattas in Europe,
leading up to the Melges 32 World Championship title in Porto Rotondo in September. Currently sitting in second position on
the US Sailing Series leader board, the ‘Inga From Sweden’ team are fresh, focussed, and promising results.
The US based Farr 30 team ‘Groovederci’ have secured Jones to race with them in the Farr 30 World
Championship which will be held in the USA in July. This will be the third consecutive year that Jones has been a part of
the Groovederci racing team, with owner Deneen Demourkas the sole lady owner/driver in the fleet. Jones will be hoping
for a repeat performance of the 2008 Worlds, where he was a part of the winning crew, helmed by the late Guy Stening.
Throw into the mix a Farr 40 World Championship, squeezed into August, again in the USA. Jones will be competing in his
12th Farr 40 Worlds and again, privy to the weight of that World Championship trophy. Jones was a crew member aboard
‘Evolution’ when Richard Perini won the 2005 World Championship in Sydney.
Amidst the glamour
of overseas racing, Jones manages to spend a little time on our local shores. He recently helped the Tasmanian team ‘2Unlimited’
win the Sydney Harbour Regatta with a perfect scorecard of six bullets. His relationship with the owner Greg ‘Enzo’
Prescott spans many years, having competed in ten Sydney to Hobart races together, and they now have their eye on the Melges
32 Australian Championship trophy, which is being contested next weekend at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.
appreciative of his return to Australian shores is his dedicated wife and two daughters. Jones frequently admits that he would
love to spend more time sailing in Australia, so that he can see more of his family, but for the time being, the International
demand is just too strong.
Darren Jones Yachting: www.darrentwirlerjones.com Sponsored by Barz Optics:
By Erin McKnight
2Unlimited wins SHR Melges 32 class with 6 straight bullets
‘Enzo’ Prescott and his 2 Unlimited crew from Tasmania cleaned up at the Sydney Harbour Regatta this weekend,
winning every single race and successfully defended the Melges 32 title they won at the event last year.
crew comprises sailor of note and ex Taswegian, Darren (Twirler) Jones along with Oliver Nicholas, Tristram Eldershaw, Julian
Salter, John McCullum and Mark Jeffery, all from Tasmania, and the lone NSW crew, James Corrie, left nothing to chance.
Tasmanians won all six races of the series, which opened with three races yesterday and finished with a further three today
on Sydney Harbour. Their most serious challenge came from newcomer to the class, Chris Way from NSW, whose campaigns in Sydney
38 and Farr 40 one-design classes on Easy Tiger helped ease him into the smaller sporty Melges.
One of Tasmania’s
leading sailors, Prescott was thrilled with their win. “This is great for us going into the nationals on Pittwater in
four weeks,” he said. “We haven’t sailed since the East Coast Championship, so we thought we were a
bit rusty,” he said from Middle Harbour Yacht Club, which hosts NSW’s largest regatta, which is in its eighth
Picture - Andrea Francolini
Melges 32 "Inga from Sweden"
2Unlimited wins Melges 32 East Coast Championship
spectacle of a fleet of Melges 32’s racing in 20 knots on Pittwater was hard to resist, plenty of spectators out following
the racing on day one of the Melges 32 East Coast Championships sponsored by SLAM and SOAK and hosted by the Royal Prince
Alfred Yacht Club.
Saturday the wind was a gusty 20 knots from the South, racing kicked off at 1 pm, for the first
three races. Après racing crews enjoyed drinks and diner overlooking the marina and relaxed to the ten piece live band
'United Notions' provided by the RPA long into the night. Sunday, the sun was out, a more subdued breeze but very shifty conditions
for the following three races. PRO Steve Merrington and his team drew on their years of Pittwater experience to get three
races away on Sunday.
The turnkey sailing setup provided by the Melges 32 class allowed competitors to fly in
from Tasmania, and Queensland to compete.
Tasmanian skipper of 2 Unlimited Greg Prescott (Enzo) came into this
event on a high after winning Hamilton Island Race Week and the Audi car. Greg gave the Audi to his mother, who is driving
the streets of Hobart delivering her grand kids to Optimist training while Greg’s racing in Sydney. Apparently she’s
a pretty cool grandma in their eyes driving a car with Audi Sailing down the side.
The 2 Unlimited team of Darren
(Twirler) Jones, Michael Dunstan, Russel Ely, Mark Jeffery, Julian Sulter, Oliver Nicholas and James Corrie dominated day
one of racing. In the heavier breeze they accelerated away from the fleet with great downwind speed and technique winning
all three races. There is no shortage of knowledge and skill behind 2 unlimited performance. Michael Dunstan the London Olympics
Australian Sailing Team’s rules advisor and multiple match racing champion was trimming Main and Darren Jones returning
from the Melges 32 Worlds to compete in the Championship called Tactics.
Day two, things didn’t all go the
way of 2 Unlimited, in the lighter breeze, Simon Reffold The Business upset their plan and tactically picked the last shift
on the run to win race four. In race five Barry Cuneo Envy Scooter’s purple spinnaker lead until the last run and looked
as though the win was secured, however, the 2 Unlimited teams experience in the boat gave them the gun. In a show of determination
in the final race of the series Envy Scooters picked the first shift and sailed well to put a win on the board and end the
regatta on a high.
Angus Reid Maxstar was the main rival on day one for 2 Unlimited. The Maxstar crew winners
of the inaugural prestigious Melges 32 Asia Pacific Cup Series for 2011-2012 were drawing on their crew work and downwind
speed attempting to close the distance. Murray Walters calling the shots and brothers Andrew and Richard Stanning were working
New to the class Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron sailor Barry Cuneo Envy Scooters and his Queensland
team including Mark Bradford (North Sails QLD) calling tactics and twinkle toes Gary Van Lunteren swinging it down on the
rail were amongst a star studded crew. Envy Scooters enjoyed their first opportunity to rate themselves against a fleet of
Melges 32’s and looked like a professional outfit, one to keep an eye on at future events on the Cup Series. Barry enjoyed
the 'short punchy racing format'. He was most impressed with the ease of the pack up commenting 'by the time the last boat
was out of the water we were fully packed up mast down, covers on ready for the trip back to QLD'.
chartering Funnel Web stepped into the boat for the first time in this regatta and held their own. In race two they picked
a good shift out of the left to lead around the top mark in the first rounding and planed downwind pulling off some good gybes
to take the third to the Maxstar crew. Sailing with his wife Anna, Martin is an experienced One Design skipper, he thoroughly
enjoyed the weekend and said he’s looking forward to more of it in the future.’
James Corrie 2 Unlimited
said it was the 'Best Race Format', off the dock at 11am go sailing for an afternoon of intensive racing, packed up and back
to the club by about 4.30pm.
The East Coast Title with a convincing win went to Greg Prescott 2 Unlimited ten
points ahead of Barry Cuneo Envy Scooters finishing on equal points but in second place on a count back to Angus Reid Maxstar
not able to hang on for race six finishing in third place overall.
A few shots from recent Farr 40 and Melges 32 Worlds
2 Unlimited success at Hamilton Island
The predominately Tasmanian team onboard Greg Prescott’s Melges 32, 2 Unlimited,
convincingly took out the first round in the Melges 32 Asia Pacific Cup Series, and won the 12 race Melges 32 division at
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.
It was three times lucky for Prescott who was also declared winner of the Audi
Final Drive Challenge at Saturday night’s trophy presentation, netting Prescott a $45,000 prize – a superb Audi
A1 Ambition compact car.
It is the most valuable prize offered for any Australian sailing event this year.
To win the stylish ‘Misano Red’ premium car from Audi, yacht owners and crews combined their best sailing
skills with those of being a consistently skilful driver at the wheel of a blisteringly-quick Audi R8 sports coupe on Wednesday’s
layday. Darren ‘Twirler’ Jones, tactician on 2 Unlimited, drove the R8 on Prescott’s behalf.
crew claimed the title of first place overall in the 12 race series at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week with 12 points, an astonishing
21 points clear of Angus Reid’s Maxstar from the Canberra Yacht Club in second place. 2 Unlimited’s result was
the equal lowest from all monohull divisions racing in the light air Whitsunday regatta, the other being Jessandra II with
12 points from nine races.
Noel Leigh Smith’s Melges 32, Desperado, from Sandringham Yacht Club placed third,
three points behind Maxstar.
Great teamwork and dedication by the 2 Unlimited crew, consisting of five Tasmanians;
Greg Prescott (skipper) Darren ‘Twirler’ Jones (tactician), Malcolm Parker, Oliver Nicholas, Mark Jeffery, James
Corrie, Andrew Hudson and Justin Cook. A veteran of 27 Sydney Hobarts, Prescott said, ‘It’s good to see the Tasmanians
come up here and have a win’.
After making the most of Saturday night’s series-end celebrations, Prescott
commented, ‘The regatta just got better and better for us’, referring to the exciting surprise, winning the Audi
‘Twirler’ put his hand up to drive the Audi on the layday and fortunately his success as tactician
on the racecourse also applied on the specially-designed gymkhana course at Hamilton Island aiport. His consistent driving
skills combined with a win in the Melges 32 division gave 2 Unlimited a one in twelve chance of taking home the keys to the
Prescott was equally as pleased with the presentation of the regatta’s Gun Boat Trophy, ‘it’s
not normally given to little guys like us’ he commented.
This was the first Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
for the Melges 32, 2 Unlimited. Looking back over the series Prescott recalled, ‘day one was a passage race, then eight
windward/leeward races for the M32 Cup Series followed by three more passage races. It was like sailing two regattas.
‘The passage races were light with lots of corners and we were sailing through a large fleet but they gave the
Melges 32 fleet a chance to compress and mix up the results. Just because we won the windward / leeward series there was no
guarantee for the passages race series.’
Saturday’s Molles Island Race was a 23 nautical mile passage
race around North Molle, Daydream and South Molle Islands. On the race Gus Reid, skipper of Maxstar, commented, ‘After
four hours of racing only ten seconds separated the Melges 32s from second to fifth place.
went into the shoreline at Daydream and came out on an escalator, stepping away from everyone. It was an amazing race, whales
breaching around us and heavy fog making visibility difficult.’
Pleased with their second place overall Reid
warned, ‘The team on 2 Unlimited had lots of pace but are not unbeatable. We’ll be focusing on preparation and
then they won’t have it all their own way.’
Australian yachtsman, Darren 'Twirler' Jones, keeps racking up success after success and is making his triumphant return to
Australian shores after another win on the USA based ‘Groovederci’ in the BMW Farr 30 World Championship.
It has been an incredible season for the newly crowned world champions – clocking up 15 first places over the
past two regattas and going undefeated at Key West Race Week
Groovederci was a stand-out in the fleet, not only
for its successful season, but also due to 14 of the 22 yachts in the regatta being locally based. Overcoming the significant
local knowledge in the fleet was certainly a testament to the skill of Jones and the rest of the crew.
wasn’t an easy regatta by any standards,” Jones explained. “With winds up to 20 knots and shifts of up to
30 degrees, consistency was the key.”
The conclusion of the Farr 30 Worlds marks Jones' return to local waters.
Having recently competed in the Cork Week regatta in Ireland, and New York Yacht Club Race Week, the Sydney based sailor is
anticipating some time at home.
“It will be great to spend at least a week with the family. I'm really looking
forward to Hamilton Island Race week. It's one of the best venues in the world and I always enjoy sailing in home waters,”
the veteran yachtsman said.
At Hamilton Island Race Week, which starts on August 18, Twirler will compete aboard
Greg Prescott’s Melges 32 ‘2 Unlimited’, on which he last helped her owner to a decisive win at the Sydney
Harbour Regatta in March.
Jones then returns to the United States to compete in the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship
and Melges 32 World Championship.
"Groovederci" 2012 Farr 30 World Champion
Jones adds more trophies to the cabinet Di Pearson 22 May. 2012
Australian yachtsman, Darren ‘Twirler’ Jones, has won
the prestigious Seahorse ‘Sailor of the Month’ for June, coming off the back of victories at the Farr 30 North
American Championship and the Farr 30 Magic Cup.
Jones beat renowned American America’s Cup sailor and three-time
Olympic campaigner, Morgan Larson, for the June title, voted on by sailors and sailing supporters around the world.
“I've just come back from a month long trip away,” confirmed Jones, whose handy work included triumph at the
Farr 30 North American Championship in Annapolis, USA, trimming main aboard Groovederci for Deneen Demourkas (USA).
Then came victory at the Farr 30 Magic Cup in Lidingo, Sweden, trimming for Richard Goransson (SWE) and his aptly named
‘The End’, adding to Jones’ growing collection of Championship trophies.
Back home for a well-earned
quick breather, Jones will return to Sweden shortly for the Farr 30 Swedish National Championship and the Farr 30 Worlds in
Båstad, Sweden. In between is Ireland’s major regatta, Cork Week, sailed out of Crosshaven.
Jones will return home for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, and then it’s back to the USA for the Melges 32 Worlds at
Newport, Rhode Island.
In high demand internationally, the Sydney-based sailor, who was genuinely chuffed to win
the ‘Sailor of the Month’, is aiming to try and spend more time competing on home soil.
international invitations keep rolling in, Jones, highly regarded among the top mainsheet trimmers internationally, acknowledges:
"It's time I spent some quality time with my family, who don’t get to see much of me throughout the year.
“Personally, I’d also like to spend more time racing at home. I’m happy competing internationally, but
it means so much to win for your own country,” said Jones, who in the past has helped Australians Richard Perini and
the late Guy Stening to world championship titles in the Farr 30 class in 2004 and 2008 respectively.
trimmer for Perini when he also won the 2005 Farr 40 Worlds, Jones has been instrumental in taking Aussie teams all the way
to the top in such events as the Sydney Harbour Regatta in March, where he helped the newly formed crew of Tasmanian Greg
Prescott’s 2Unlimited SevenStar dominate and win the Melges 32 one-design class.
Darren ‘twirler’ Jones (AUS)
Too many keelboat titles to list... ‘A combination of mad scientist, speed freak, film maker, tireless
prankster and one hell of a sailor’ – Deneen Demourkas; ‘As if you wouldn’t choose way-cool Darren’
– Brodey Bakes; ‘A pro sailor with genuine enthusiasm!!!’ – Kim Woodhouse; ‘Surely he must hold
more titles than any skipper or owner?’ – Carole Abbott; ‘Great pro and a great bloke’ – Guy
Stening; ‘A wealth of experience, all deliver nicely!’ – Dan Mullervy. Seahorse Sailor of the Month comes
to you with Musto, Harken McLube and Dubarry.
Darren ‘Twirler’ Jones (AUS) Another unsung hero with multiple world titles in the Farr 30, Farr 40 and Swan 45 classes to name but three. Plenty of
other major titles in the Etchells and Melges 32 classes and a handy set of results on the left coast in the sleds. Plus,
and maybe more important, this Hobart native’s got a pretty scary fan club who have been leaning on us for a while...
Sailmaker, trimmer and all round top bloke. Good enough...
Morgan Larson (USA) The Oman Air Extreme
Sailing team made a nice call taking on the America’s Cup veteran for 2012. Larson arrived in Muscat to make his debut
as a X-40 skipper and promptly wiped the floor with his experienced rivals to dominate the opening regatta. Nice result too
for Muscat, as the runner-up spot was taken by The Wave Muscat, skippered by Leigh McMillan... who introduced Morgan Larson
to the series last year...
Put your Money on the Tasmanians – Melges 32 Nationals
An amalgamation of Tasmanians and Sydney-siders may just be the winning formula aboard
"2Unlimited SevenStar", the sole Tasmanian entry in the Melges 32 Australian Championship, which starts tomorrow.
Owner Greg Prescott will be putting his faith in tactician Darren ‘Twirler’ Jones to orchestrate his team and
strategize them to a win in the hotly contested event.
The ten race series will be hosted over three days
by Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, and has attracted a strong fleet of ten boats, including three interstate entries. The
Tasmanian entry has already showed strong form, with a convincing win at last weekend’s Sydney Harbour Regatta, boasting
a near-perfect scorecard.
Just two years ago, Prescott decided to purchase a Melges 32 to ‘dodge around
on’, competing in a number of offshore races around Tasmania before coming to NSW to play with other Melges 32’s.
His arrival could not have come at a better time with ten teams expected to fight for the Australian Title.
Despite the fact that one week ago, half his crew had never set foot on board a Melges 32, Prescott has complete confidence
in the 2Unlimited team. "Twirler has brought together a majority of the crew and I know they are really good guys. Twirler
has come to Hobart a number of times to sail on the boat and obviously has a lot of overseas experience in this class, so
he is very familiar with it, and the Tassie guys on board have done every race the boat has ever done” he says.
Although the Melges 32 is not specifically designed for long-distance offshore racing, 2Unlimited already has a considerable
list of achievements, including winning the 300nm Launceston – Hobart Race, the 180nm Maria Island Race, and completed
other marathon races to both Bruny Island and Newstone.
“Twirler and I have done about ten Sydney –
Hobart races together, so our relationship goes back a long way. He will be calling tactics for me this regatta – which
is a change from his usual position as mainsail trimmer, but I thought it would be an advantage to move him to the new role."
He is frequently in demand by high-profile sailing campaigns such as the Australian Farr 40 Estate Master, the
US based Farr 30 Groovederci, and the Melges 32 Ramrod hailing also from the USA. Twirler finds himself frequently jetting
around the globe to compete in sailing events at the highly competitive International level. However he quietly admits that
he would like to spend more time sailing on local shores. It’s his local knowledge that Prescott will be relying on
this weekend to win the Australian Championship.
“Our aim for the Nationals will be to keep up the
good work from last weekend” Prescott commented. “We wanted to do the Sydney Harbour Regatta to see if we were
on the pace with the local boats. Obviously we were – but there will be a lot more wind this weekend, as well as an
extra five boats competing, so there is no guarantee. The Melges 32 is heaps of fun to sail, and going in to the regatta with
such a strong team, I am quite happy.”
PRESCOTT WINS 2012 SYDNEY HARBOR REGATTA
12 MARCH 2012
The fleet of Melges 32’s were showcased at the weekends seventh Sydney
Harbour Regatta hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club boasting 237 entries.
In the Melges 32 fleet, it was hard to
get past Greg Prescott’s 2 Unlimited Seven Star from Tasmania, which was skippered this weekend by gun Farr 40 owner,
Martin Hill, who dragged Olympian and fellow Farr 40 sailor Bobby Wilmot along for the ride to trim mainsheet, and world champion
one-design sailor and coach, Darren ‘Twirler’ Jones to call tactics. The crew pulled a win either side of a second
place for an early series lead at the end of day one.
“It was fantastic; we were doing 15 knots in 19 knots
of breeze and in a building easterly we went so fast downwind – you can really stretch out downwind – and we did,”
Hill said after having his first ride on a Melges, the Middle Harbour YC sailor described steering the boat as “light
Of the regatta in general, Hill, the past commodore of the host club said: “It’s
great to see such a hot and huge fleet out on the Harbour – it’s a real carnival of sail.
By the end
of racing, day two, the Melges 32 One-Design fleet was dominated by Tasmanian entry 2 Unlimited Seven Star, five wins from
six races. There were three Tassies aboard; Darren ‘Twirler’ Jones, who has called Sydney home for many years,
Mark Jeffrey and Ollie Nicholas. And although the crew had not sailed together before, they dominated from go to whoa and
are thrilled to be heading to the National Championship at Pittwater next Friday as ‘the boat to beat’.
Ollie Nicholas admitted he was surprised by their domination in the hot fleet: “It’s been good to come up to
Sydney and sail with a good bunch of blokes and to finish this well – we had no idea how we’d go – to win
so many races was a bit of a surprise,” he said.
Angus Reid’s Maxstar from Canberra Yacht Club stole
a win from 2 Unlimited in race two and sailed consistently to take second place, followed three points behind by Middle Harbour
Yacht Club representative Geoff Masters Funnelweb third place overall.
Day one of the regatta MHYC Club
Captain John McCuaig skippered Funnelweb positioning them well for Masters who flew in from the USA this morning and was dropped
onto the boat prior to racing.
The Melges 32 fleet will be heading to Pittwater for next weekend’s Australian
Queenslanders ‘GEN XY’
the Ones to Watch in Etchells Worlds
GEN XY (AUS 864)
helmed by Matthew Chew may just be the boat to beat at the impending Etchells World Championship being staged in Sydney next
week. Representing Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, the GEN XY team placed a credible sixth overall in the Australian Championship
which concluded on Tuesday, proving to the more experienced Etchells ‘old boys’ that they can mix it with the
best of them.
Helmsman Matthew Chew is no stranger to the ferocity of competition in the class, with already
one Etchells World Championship title under his belt, when he crewed for Jason Muir in the 2009 Worlds held in Melbourne.
Mainsheet hand Adrian Finglas holds a wealth of experience, previously winning no less than nine National championships
in various classes of dinghies - not to mention his involvement as a Trimmer in Americas Cup and Volvo Ocean Race campaigns.
Trimmer Paul Wyatt also featured in the 2009 Etchells worlds winning crew and is a four time National champion
in various dinghy and keelboat classes.
Tactician and bowman Darren ‘ Twirler’ Jones may bring
to the table the longest list of accomplishments. Holding five World championship titles from Farr 30s to Farr 40s and Swan
45s, a host of Australian, American and European keelboat titles, as well as involvement in numerous Sydney/Hobart, Transpac
and Americas Cup races, ‘Twirler’ is no stranger to the pointy end of a tough fleet.
team admit that they haven’t been sailing together all that long – with the Zhik Etchells Nationals being their
first major regatta as a crew. Apart from the Qld State titles and the NSW Etchells championship where they finished fourth,
training days for the team have been few and far between. And it showed – in the first race of the Nationals where the
team placed 28th. After a bad start they found themselves deep, but managed to work their way back up the fleet.
For the rest of the regatta they managed to average around fourth and fifth place in the vastly competitive fleet, where
just about everyone seemed to be going up and down the scoreboard like yo-yos. Finishing in sixth place overall, the GEN XY
team agrees that the Zhik Etchells Nationals were a good warm-up event.
“It definitely took the Nationals
to smooth out the crew-work on our boat and get our own job descriptions defined” said ‘Twirler’. “Our
team will only get better as the Worlds progress. Being a relatively new crew, our goal will be to finish in the top 15 boats
every race – then hopefully when it comes down to the last few races we will be in with a chance.”
The GEN XY team are not overly concerned about weather conditions for the forthcoming Championship – citing that they
would be happy with wind speeds of anywhere between zero to 25 knots. With the World Championships planned to be held in the
Manly Circle off North Head, sea conditions will be similar to those experienced during the Nationals, which were held outside
“Potentially if we can get off the line well in each race, we will be able to get ourselves
into a good position by mid-regatta, by then our crew work should be more defined and we should really hit our straps. There
are just so many close rivals in this fleet – anyone of about 15 boats has the ability to win the Worlds.”
The team have a few days to prepare and train before the World Championships officially commence with an invitation
race on Sunday 19th February. The first race of the nine-race series kicks off on Monday.
Photo - Damian Devine
Farr 30 Groovederci Dominates Key West with
Ten Straight Wins
The Quantum Key West Race Week concluded
over the weekend in Florida USA, with Groovederci dominating the Farr 30 division, finishing with a perfect scorecard of ten
straight wins. The yacht’s performance has been hailed as “one of the most impressive performances of the regatta”,
which attracts high profile yachts and professional sailors from all ends of the globe.
The ten-race series
started on Monday and saw a range of wind conditions over the five day event. The first day of the regatta saw gusts
of up to 22 knots, reaching the upper wind limit for the Farr 30 class and creating exciting challenges on the water. However
the wind moderated throughout the regatta, and at times yachts were seen drifting between whiskers of breeze, keeping trimmers
on their toes and constantly changing gears.
Groovederci’s trimmer, Australian Darren ‘Twirler’
Jones commented “We did it tough today, it was very close racing. Day One was quite testing - at one point we were as
far back as fourth in the fleet and we struggled to claw our way back up. Yesterday was very light and shifty but we managed
to keep the boat going fast. Having won the regatta with two races to spare was comforting, but we still wanted to come out
here today and race. It has been an awesome week with great conditions – and it feels very nice to come through with
Quantum Key West Race Week is the first event in which the Groovederci team has competed
since their World Championship win in San Francisco last September. Owner Deneen Demourkas (USA) praised the efforts of her
crew, with tactician Philippe Mourniac, trimmers Darren ‘Twirler’ Jones and Cameron Biehl, and bowman Andrew Hudson
contributing to both the World Championship win last year and their perfect score-card at Key West. It seems that the Groovederci
team will be well placed to dominate the Farr 30 racing circuit in 2012.
Other podium placed Farr 30s at
Key West included the USA based Theend (Richard Goransson), who finished the regatta in second place on 29 points, and Mummbles
(Brad Kauffman) closely behind in third place overall. Full results from Quantum Key West 2012 can be found here: http://www.premiere-racing.com/
Image courtesy of Becky Furry / Sail22.com
Groovederci - 2011 Farr 30 World Champion
Santa Barbara’s Deneen Demourkas crowned Farr 30 World Champion
On Dramatic Final Day
San Francisco, CA (11 September 2011) – The weather
may have backed off from its biblical peaks earlier in the week, but the battle for the prestigious 2011 Farr 30 World Championship
raged until the final leg of the last race of this testing, tough championship regatta. While she didn’t lead
the event until the final race, Southern California’s Deneen Demourkas won when it mattered, becoming the first female
skipper to win a big boat one-design World Championship in decades – if ever.
Going into this morning’s
lighter air action, Santa Barbara-based Demourkas (Groovederci) trailed Newport, RI’s Jim Richardson (Barking Mad) by
just a point in second with another 3 points up to local Scott Easom (Eight Ball) in first place. Demourkas was on a
solid winning streak though, having taken the bullet in the previous three races. “We’re actually looking
for lighter air today,” said tactician Cameron Appleton on Sunday morning. “We’re confident that we’ve
got speed in all conditions, but we need other boats to get in ahead of Scott and Jim.”
The lighter conditions
Appleton was searching for wouldn’t work out exactly as planned, at least at the beginning. In the first race of the
day – Race 8 of the series – Demourkas had a huge lead by the first windward mark when disaster struck thanks
to light wind and ripping flood tide. “The current was a bit stronger than we thought, and we ended up touching
the mark,” explained Appleton. The resulting penalty turn allowed 4 boats, including Barking Mad, to escape ahead
of Groovederci, while Eight Ball had a shocking 8th place finish.
In Race 9 of the Championship, Demourkas started
strongly again, leading Jim Richardson around the track with John Demourkas slipping in between the two on the last leg of
the race. John wasn’t happy with just second place though, and he surfed down a big wave just a few feet from
the finish, popping ahead of wife Deneen and winning the race by literally inches. Still five points back, Deneen was
chipping away at Barking Mad’s lead – but would there be enough racing left for her to catch him?
didn’t think so, meaning Groovederci needed a new strategy. “We needed to engineer possibilities for the
rest of the fleet to get back into the mix and perhaps pass Barking Mad, and in race 10, it couldn’t have possibly gone
better for us,” he said. He led Richardson around the bottom gate with the rest of the fleet far behind, and on
the final beat of the race, Appleton “pushed him out to the right to let the traffic get back in the race, and
it all fell into place when they fouled Wild Thing on the final downwind leg.” While Barking Mad sailed a penalty
turn the fleet sailed by, knocking them back to 11th place while Demourkas sailed to the victory and an overall championship
lead she wouldn’t relinquish.
With her first lead of the entire regatta, nine-time Worlds skipper Demoukas
could finally use her dominant boatspeed and flawless starts to clamp down on the competition, and Demourkas covered Barking
Mad and Eight Ball all the way around the course on the final race, and Easom and Richardson’s battle for second place
was an epic one. Richardson needed to finish just one place ahead of Easom to win, but Eight Ball tucked their bow inside
Richardson at the final windward mark, working down on the Farr 40 and Farr 30 veteran and making the pass with less than
two legs to go. Ironically, the smooth driving that allowed Eight Ball to lead this regatta all week, through some of
the most brutal Rolex Big Boat Series conditions in years, would fail them when it mattered most. “I noticed that
the vang was off when we rounded the mark, so I called ‘vang on’ before the gybe,” Easom said. When Eight
Ball went for the gybe inside Richardson, the highly loaded mainsail came across with a bang, spinning Easom to windward in
his first broach of the entire regatta in just 16 knots of wind. “The vang was on hard, and I noticed how hard our main
trimmer was working to bring it across a little too late, and as soon as it came across, we were dead.” The resulting
broach allowed four boats to pass, giving Richardson yet another second place World Championship finish – his third
time as the runner-up in this competitive class. “I guess I’m a permanent bridesmaid in the class,”
he said with a laugh after landing on the dock.
But the bride – as well as queen, empress, and president
– of this class is now Deneen Demourkas. “This has been a long time coming,” said the World Champion
after fiercely hugging husband John at the dock. “We certainly didn’t make it easy on ourselves today –
we had to work really hard to keep our head in the game and not let it get away from us.” Demourkas said.
“I’ve been doing this for a lot of years, and I’ve seen everything. The one thing I’ve learned
is that you cannot stop fighting until the bitter end. You never know what’s going to happen, and the incident
with Jim [Richardson] is a perfect example; you stay in the game, you stay patient and focused, and you see how things play
out. There’s no giving up, or there’s no championship.”
Demourkas attributed much of her
success to her hard-working crew of tactician Cameron Appleton, main trimmer Darren “Twirler” Jones, bowman Andrew
Hudson, trimmers Cameron Biehl and Austin Herlihy and floater Patrick Gavin-Byrnes. “Without these guys I wouldn’t
have had a chance – they’re the hardest working crew in sailing as far as I’m concerned,” Demourkas
Deneen Demourkas's Farr 30 Groovederci is right on track for the upcoming World Championship after posting 2
impressive wins in the past 3 weeks.
After winning the Canadian Championship
without loosing a race she backed that up by winning a close fought North American Championship from Scott Easom's 8ball and
Jim Richardsons Barking Mad.
Goa Triumphant in B2K
IRC Division 2, Chris Tyquin’s
Farr 30 GOA/NOVA was provisionally the winner. She was six minutes ahead of Andrew Knight’s Mumm 36 modified Georgia
Express on corrected time and 13 minutes ahead of Craig Coulsen’s Van de Stat 42 Trumpcard. Goa also claimed the Farr
30 Class win. 5 Farr 30's entered the 340nm race with Goa winning by a huge margin of near 3 hours.
GOA/NOVA - Skipper Chris Tyquin, quote from Darren 'Twirler' Jones
'It's a long
race in a Farr 30 but we took advantage of cruising the wake of the bigger boats who towed us up the course. This race is
quite tactical and being that we were one of the five Farr 30's we really had to stay focused for the entire time. Definitely
happy to be the first Farr 30 home. We gave our ETA at the Tropic of Capricorn which was just over a minute out from our finish
time. Can't complain'
GOA looks like a special for the Navigator’s Prize.
Below is a fun movie trailer and a video put together after the Transpac Race where we finished 2nd Overall.
Fly, Pegasus, Fly!
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 19:36
What's a perfect Transpac ride? A lot depends on what you're doing, this time.
Philippe Kahn was plenty
happy in 2009 when he and Mark Christiansen set a new doublehanded record in an Open 50 named, as all the man's boats are
named, Pegasus. For 2011, however, the maestro of mobile software is going retro.
After seven months in the shed,
Kahn's Andrews 68 has been "de-turboed" as he says: "We cut 12 feet off the mast, shortened the fin and went
to a smaller bulb with a few thousand pounds of lead in the bilge. We also took out the bow sprit, and the new, shorter pole
gybes easily inside the forestay. Combine that with a simplified deck, and three to five of us can handle her at full potential
in 35 knots of wind. A perfect Transpac ride!"
Pegasus is now close to the configuration
of a stock Santa Cruz 70, Kahn says. "We plan to sail her surfing to Honolulu like a Moore 24 as opposed to sailing across
the waves, reaching, like a Melges 24. I surf, and I love surfing, and what we want is to have fair racing with the other
boats in the '70s' class using the Transpac ORR rating. We hope to get more people wanting to do this and have some great
Pacific Ocean sailing."
Gee, it seems only yesterday that the cool thing was to go "turbo."
The upper end of the fleet for the 2011 race has seven 70-footers entered, two 68-footers and, of course, good ole
Ragtime. The fleet has two starts, July 4 and July 8, and no one is more qualified to decide how he wants to do it "this
time" than Philippe Kahn. He has sailed 12 races to Hawaii, three of them doublehanded. The new record he set in 2009
with Christiansen stands at 7 days, 19 hours, which got them to the Diamond Head Buoy ahead of all the 70s, turboed or un,
and lopped two days off the doublehanded record.
He was already a more accomplished sailor-competitor, years
ago, when he declared to your reporter, "I have to learn how to sail before I die."